Something of a Typhoid Mary for the modern horror film which as a pioneer of its kind opened the door to grosser and grosser derivative spectacles which generally lacked the visual panache, character development and quasi-religious & scientific undercurrents, if not convincing sub-plots, found here. In itself a superb slow-boil before hell does indeed break loose and let's it all hang out in the second half.
Stylistically barren (though Friedken was likely aiming for a realistic approach) and overly reliant on moments of nasty violence involving a child. It's more violent than the Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which says quite a lot. The big issue I have is that it just doesn't rank among other horror classics, because its terrors are limited access--frightening only to Catholics and the superstitious.
It ain't Hitchcock, but then again, what is? ;-) Seriously though, the effect this film has on you depends on (a) your age when you first saw it, and (b) whether you believe in the possibility of possession. I saw this film in my early teen years, and while not brought up in a religious family, I did think at that age that possession was possible. Hence it freaked me the f*** out. "Dimmy... Dimmy..." *shivers*
Every time I watch this film I see another layer of complexity, another level of brilliance. Most recently I love the voyeristic direction before the devil takes hold of Regan, I love the way that the set pieces are deliberately cut short to emphasise the horror. Father Karras is the best thing in the film by far. It's his film.
Trama fantastica che terrorizza e disturba. Sviluppo ben strutturato, fino ad un magnifico finale.Lo scontro primordiale a cui assistiamo è ottimo e fa sentire indifesi. Regia perfetta che riesce a creare tensione e scene memorabili e iconoclaste. Fotografia che caratterizza bene le ambientazioni e montaggio che tiene sempre col fiato sospeso. Effetti speciali magnifici. La colonna sonora è storica. Ottimi interpreti
I was expecting a classic horror movie, and though the scary or haunting moments weren't enough to make me shiver, the movie (and mostly possessed-Regan) kept me stuck to the screen from the start to the very end. 'The Exorcist' theme song is the new soundtrack to my nightmares.